Ronnie Harrison in man coverage
Given his size and just the overall assumption of the safety position, man coverage is not the strong suit to Harrison’s game. He is a bit stiff in the hips, which usually causes a delay in his ability to open up and turn and run with tight ends or receivers down the field. Lining up at the five-to-seven yard marks in man coverage is not a wise idea as Harrison must be able to use his physicality at the line of scrimmage in order to combat his lack of fluidity.
Leaving him on an island with no safety help over the top is not a wise idea as he, with most safeties honestly, struggles in one-on-one situations. Matched up in man coverage on Pro Bowl tight end of the Las Vegas Raiders Darren Waller with no help over the top, the outcome is extremely predictable.
However, when playing closer to the line of scrimmage or with a safety over the top, Harrison is able to alter his technique, knowing he can give up a shade inside if there is another helper inside. In a second situation with Waller, while he still has no help over the top, he is asked to get in the face of the Pro Bowler off of the line of scrimmage, is able to jam his release, giving himself an added line of defense to hand with him on the wheel route.
Most impressive with Harrison in man coverage, when tasked to take on running backs out of the backfield, is his ability to keep sight on the quarterback out of the corner of his eyes. As he is tasked with manning up on Cincinnati Bengals’ running back here (who has a delayed release), Harrison is able to keep his shoulders square to his man while also sticking a mit in the passing lane of Andy Dalton in order to cause a disruption.
Overall, Harrison shows the ability to play in man coverage, especially against running backs. However tracking down the field with tight ends is not his strong suit. If he is asked to man up on a tight end, especially an athletic pass catching one, the Browns must put him in a position to use his size and strength to his advantage rather than keeping him five yards off the line of scrimmage.